Scottie Pippen is one of the greatest NBA players of all time.
Alongside Michael Jordan, he also made up one of the most formidable dynamic duos the league had ever seen and led the Chicago Bulls to six championships.
That makes him uniquely qualified not only to assess the current incarnation of the Bulls, but also their ceiling.
Last summer Chicago acquired DeMar DeRozan to pair up with Zach LaVine. Together, they led their squad to the best record in the East at one point — before ultimately coming back down to Earth.
In the playoffs, especially, the team floundered. Pippen doesn’t see that changing any time soon.
“I think (in the) postseason they sort of fell back into the slot that they’ve been in for the last 10 or 15 years. They’re just not a team that’s built for the postseason,” Pippen told NBC Sports Chicago. “They had some injuries this year, but the other teams out there are continuing to improve.
“Milwaukee is still gonna be strong, Miami (Heat). So even (if) the improvements that they (the Bulls) are making is drastic improvement, other teams are making moves too. They’re (other teams) really not giving them (the Bulls) a chance to close the gap.”
The Bulls have experienced some off-court drama this summer, but seem to have come out the other side of it stronger.
But will they be able to take the next step in 2022-23, advance in the playoffs and make a legitimate run at the Eastern Conference crown?